I spent half of the week on London, on a business trip. It was perfectly timed with the release of Steve Jobs' biography, which I picked up in a W H Smiths on arrival. On a number of occasions I was shyly asked if I was a "fan" by strangers; he really did reach out and touch a lot of people, either with his products, his entrepreneurialism or simply his flair and charisma.
Talking of gadgets, I mapped out an 18km run around London, passing through old haunts and favorite places but I was unable to load it on to my Garmin 310XT, for some reason: I've never had problems doing this in the past. I think that I will at last have to upgrade the MacOS, something I have been lazy to do in spite of having bought the upgrade ages ago.
Instead, I went on one of my random runs around the streets of London. I love doing this. While running in nature is undoubtedly more beautiful and arguably better for you, a forest is a forest and a tree is a tree, no matter in which country you are. I love glancing through the windows of peoples houses as I run by, watching (and having to dodge) the people walking in the street, looking at the shop windows. The time passes so much more quickly and you have to be as alert as you would be on a technical trail, if not more. Apart from having to stop for the odd traffic light which is a pain, the sudden changes of direction you have to make to avoid colliding with someone can put undue amounts of strain on your feet and lower legs, not to mention treacherously uneven paving slabs. (Not sure if you are reading this, Sergio...) In fact, I wasn't even supposed to do this run according to my training schedule, but I simply can't visit another city, especially a well trodden one like London, without going for one of my random runs.
After a rare night out (until 4:30am) I went for an hour run on Saturday morning - I didn't feel up to doing the series I had programmed so I switched training with Sunday. With the cool climate and flat route at sea level, I was flying! Very close to Marathon pace but for seemingly no effort. I just hope I'm not peaking too early!
On Sunday I went to the gym masquerading as my brother to do the 12 series of 1 kilometer with 20 seconds rest in between. I did these at 17kph (3:30 per km) without ever quite hitting my anaerobic threshold (which, actually, I was supposed to). I don't think I could have (safely) run much faster. While I was recovering outside the gym, someone came up to me and started talking to me. I couldn't hear what he was saying as I was listening to my iPod. I thought he was either going to ask me to go back and do a better job of wiping the treadmill down after using it or that he was my brother's personal trainer and he was going to bring me to justice. what he actually wanted to know was how fast I was going on the treadmill! He seemed genuinely impressed! In the afternoon I went shopping with my brother and I was amazed to see this selection of running shoes in J D Sports on the Kings Road - Vibram Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot... A month or two ago I would definitely have ended up buying some but I'm now on the next page with my Soft Star Run Amocs...